Saturday, August 3, 2013

It was spring today, on the 'Lazy Mountain--Mangere.'

I decided that today was a good day to pretend that it was spring. To feel the strength of the wish, I took Perdy and my sister to Mangere Mountain. (Lazy Mountain). The name defies the act of two people not used to scaling the giddy heights of the afore mentioned big hill. Both of us have lost weight and a year ago would never have contemplated walking up what most would call a modest hill. After all, we are not like the crazy Jack Russell who accompanied us. We quickly divested ourselves of coats and jackets, because it really did feel like spring. Even at the top (I have pictures to prove that we made it--- the trig station tells all) it still felt quite mild, especially as the sun was out. Perdy had a ball. She did little to endear herself to us when she found every cow pat (That's cow crap for the uninitiated) and attempted to smear the smelly mess all over her pristine blond body. Not a good look. She also approached the cows, possibly to thank them for their contribution to her 'shit-fashioned look.' The huge beasts just looked at her as if she were the produce from their rear ends and Perdy for her part, just sniffed and came back to me. Obviously these cows are well used to canine visitors on their special mountain.
The mountain is one where Maori (New Zealand's indigenous people) built defences, made from 'earth' (They were well versed in trench warfare, well before the terrible versions employed in WW1) to protect their Pa's (villages) from other tribes. Auckland has many such examples on its dozens of extinct (I hope!) volcanoes.
My sister and I managed to get to the top, quite easily. It was the descent on the other side that caused a few issues as the pathway consisted of loose scoria which is prone to, well---slipping and luckily we both made it down without causing injury. There were a few moments for two old farts. (I am in definite trouble for that statement)
Perdy had a fantastic time and despite her changed colour (I think it's called cow-pat green) and slightly 'wiffy' odour, we let her join us at one of the cafes in the Mangere Bridge township.
My conclusion---- spring is doing its best to manifest itself!


The 'unfortunate' Fonterra afair just proves that we need to take our 'processing' much more seriously.

If we needed any more evidence that Government cuts, or big company scrutiny of quality and safety control need more effort, then  the events of the last few days have given us just that. China is increasingly demanding that which it so often does not demand from its own industries, particularly those related to food production. The fact that the Chinese people often do not trust their own sources, tells us a great deal. The fact that mothers will buy imported baby formulae at very high prices is evidence of that. So when Fonterra 'stuffs up' yet again, then why should we be surprised at the 'double standards?' It all comes down to the old adage, the 'he who pays the piper, calls the tune.' Forget about what is fair or on a level playing field and face facts. Unless we get our standards beyond reproach, we will suffer the consequences; in this latest case, a major threat to our exports to the huge market that China represents for us now. I know our Government is reacting to the latest scare and that there will be government to government communication but the fact remains that the Chinese Government will easily make NZ some kind of scapegoat in order to draw attention from internal 'issues' around the safety of food and other products. NZ must be able to prove that what we send to China and other nations, is squeaky clean. Our government must lean on all producers to spend the money needed to tidy up our image and our produce. I am sure Fonterra will do everything in its power to right this situation, but they and other companies must never cease to push for the very highest standards---those that differentiate us from many of our competitors. If they don't, we are all the losers!